Al Haymon Facing Antitrust Suit

Al Haymon, who promoted artists including M.C. Hammer, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige before moving into the world of boxing, is facing a $300 million lawsuit from Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

Photo: AP Photo

Haymon represents Floyd Mayweather and many other fighters but the federal antitrust and unfair competition suit from Golden Boy claims he’s skirting the law by acting as both a manager and a promoter. The law in question is the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, which was enacted to protect the rights of boxers, provide public oversight of the sport and protect against “exploitive, oppressive, and unethical business practices.”

“Since the moment Al Haymon launched Premier Boxing Champions, he has repeatedly and brazenly broken the letter and spirit of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act that is meant to protect fighters from exploitation,” Golden Boy said in a statement. “As part of an anti-competitive conspiracy that includes financial backers from Waddell & Reed, Haymon has ‘entered into agreements to restrain trade in a substantial portion of the market for promotion of championship-caliber boxers.’”

The suit contends Haymon and his companies forbid his boxers from signing with other promoters and often arrange the venues, sponsorships and pay the purses for fights.

“Even Haymon-managed fighters themselves repeatedly refer to Haymon as their ‘promoter,’ though he is well-known to manage more than 100 fighters,” the statement continued. “Haymon is, not only pushing out other legitimate promoters in favor of ineffective puppets that he controls, but locking out top fighters who dare to not join his stable of boxers.”